To fight coronavirus, Gov. Cuomo should suspend NY’s new plastic-bag ban
Since the Legislature handed Gov. Andrew Cuomo vast powers to fight the coronavirus, he might as well use them wisely for starters, by suspending New York’s new statewide ban on most plastic bags until the pandemic threat passes.
The ban, which kicked in this month, forbids most single-use plastic bags and allows a nickel charge for each paper bag. At best, it’s dubious policy (most plastic in the world’s oceans comes from China, just for starters), but it’s an especially bad move right now.
Why? Because the reusable bags that advocates push as a replacement are serious germ-spreaders. Most users don’t wash them often, so contaminants linger and spread. (Oh, and if you do wash it regularly, you’re negating the environmental gains from not using the usual plastics.)